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Cheryl M Hammond, Senior Technical Strategist

I'm speaking at Agile2015, August 3-7 in Washington D CI’ve been playtesting my two upcoming Agile2015 sessions and getting awesome feedback to help me make them even better. You’ll be able to view the final results this August in Washington, DC!

got Kanban?

At Agile Games 2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I ran a three-hour deep-dive session called Playing and Hacking getKanban version 2.0. That’s a demanding crowd—seasoned agile gamers from all over the world—and reviews were great. During the Sunday conference Open Space, I found a table and decided to run my own solo (so I thought) getKanban game session to test a particular heuristic and see its results. Far from solo, I ended up being joined by several interested spectators and was able to talk through our findings with them. It’s awesome to bounce ideas off of experienced colleagues!

I actually got the invitation to speak at Agile Games as a direct result of my session submissions to Agile2015, including one Agile2015 rejected that Agile Games wanted. That’s good intel for all you aspiring speakers: just the act of submitting a proposal and working with a track coach can create opportunities you might not have known about otherwise! Go for it!

As we often do, my colleague Steven Borg and I incorporated getKanban 2.0 into one of our collaborative presentations, this time the Fundamentals of Lean Software Delivery all-day pre-conference session at ALM Forum 2015 in Seattle.

Business of Software Delivery Track room at Bell Harbor

As you see, we had the best room, with a panoramic view of Elliott Bay and Alki on a glorious day, which made it all the more gratifying to see attendees huddled around their game boards all afternoon! Most of them reported that the game was their favorite part of the session.

The 75-minute breakout at Agile2015 won’t allow us enough time to play through the game itself, but in Introducing getKanban v2.0: Lean Principles for Experiential Learners I’ll present my end-to-end strategy for using getKanban as a teaching and coaching tool, and you’ll be able to download my own open-source customizations to the open-source base game to run your own sessions with your own teams. Plus, if there’s interest, I’ll have plenty of reusable kits to play during an Open Jam!

One Metric to Rule Them All

My solo breakout session at ALM Forum 2015 is a new talk for me. A year or two ago I started delivering Steve’s insanely popular Metrics That Matter (standing room only and top-rated at the last several TechEds and last year’s ALM Forum), but that’s really Steve’s talk. It’s totally him. I needed my own talk. And, it turns out, I think the world needed a sequel. So I wrote one. If you’ve seen Steve give that talk and thought, awesome, now what?, my talk is for you!

The ALM Forum organizers had to truncate the title to fit the program, and chose the less-funny half IMO (Effectively Measure Your Teams without Subjugating Them), but attracted a pretty full room anyway. For this 45-minute delivery, I built a brand-new slide deck—gorgeous, if I do say so, definitely keeping it—and crafted a narrative around several specific frameworks for evaluating metrics, and concrete takeaways that my clients have found useful in implementing their own metrics. Anyone who’s ever worked with me will find it totally unsurprising when I say it isn’t the what or the which of metrics that matters most to me. We go beyond lists of metrics to talk about why you want your metrics and how you should use them (and not use them) to get the results you want.

In my 75-minute session One Metric to Rule Them All: Effectively Measure Your Teams Without Subjugating Them at Agile2015, we’ll have more time to deeply explore your own journey with metrics, and I’ve planned an interactive exercise for attendees to help y’all take away a personalized metrics action plan.

Lightning strikes twice!

My solo big break on the tech speaker circuit really happened in 2013 when, after many years of hounding, Keith at the p&p/ALM Summit/Forum agreed to put me onstage for a 15-minute lightning talk. You can still see Agile for Agnostics on Channel9 if you really want, though I can’t say it’s my favorite work.

This year I learned to be careful what you wish for. In addition to my all-day co-pre-con and my solo breakout session, Keith asked me to facilitate my track’s afternoon kickback sessions and recruited me at the last responsible moment to deliver a 5-minute lightning talk. That’s a big ask. I can speak for an hour or a half day or a day on no notice, but delivering value in just five minutes usually requires a lot more prep and practice time! Fortunately, I had a recent blog post in my memory buffer, and I thought maybe I could condense its straightforward message into a quick win for conference attendees:

Cheryl's lightning talk at ALM Forum 2015

Curly and I hit the stage with our message about The One Thing for your daily standup, and the Only Two Questions to ask to achieve it.

Both my Metrics session and my Lightning Talk (sorry, not getKanban yet) were filmed, and should be available for viewing in a few weeks. Better still, come see the newest, improved-est versions in August at Agile2015!

Got a question for me about Kanban, metrics, or anything else Lean/agile? Tweet me @bsktcase or email clientservices@nwcadence.com to schedule a conversation!

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